Technical and Insight
Spring Statement – what you need to know

A summary of the key announcements in last week’s Spring Statement.

A summary of the key announcements in last week’s Spring Statement.


The Chancellor presented his first Spring Statement to Parliament on 13 March 2018. It gave:

  • an update on the overall health of the economy and the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) forecasts
  • an update on progress made since  the Autumn Budget 2017
  • invited people and businesses to give views on changes the government is considering.

Major tax or spending changes will now be made once a year at the Budget in the autumn.


An ambitious plan to tackle the UK’s housing challenge and build the homes the country needs

An investment programme of at least £44bn over the next five years was announced at Autumn Budget 2017, aiming to raise the supply of homes to 300,000 a year on average by the mid-2020s.


The Spring Statement announced the following progress:

  • the government is working with 44 areas on their bids into the £4.1bn Housing Infrastructure Fund to help build the homes that the country needs
  • the Housing Growth Partnership, which provides financial support for small housebuilders, will be more than doubled to £220m
  • London will receive £1.67bn to start building a further 27,000 affordable homes by the end of 2021-22

To help people get onto the housing ladder, stamp duty for first-time buyers of homes under £300,000 was abolished at Autumn Budget 2017, with buyers of properties up to £500,000 benefiting from the change. An estimated 60,000 first-time buyers have benefited so far.


Helping households with the cost of living

In April 2018 the National Living Wage will rise to £7.83, worth £600 extra a year for a full-time worker. National Minimum Wage rates for under 25s and apprentices will also rise – the largest increase in youth rates in 10 years. Over 2m people are expected to benefit from April’s increases.


The tax-free personal allowance – the amount you earn before you start paying income tax – will rise to £11,850 from April 2018. This means that in 2018-19, a typical taxpayer will pay £1,075 less income tax than in 2010-11.


Business rates revaluations

At Autumn Budget 2017 it was announced that business rates revaluations will take place every three years, rather than every five years, following the next revaluation. This means bills will more accurately reflect the current rental value of properties.


The Spring Statement 2018 announces that the next revaluation, currently due in 2022, will be brought forward to 2021. This will mean businesses can benefit from the change to three-year revaluations earlier, with the first taking place in 2024.


Reducing single-use plastic waste through the tax system

Disposable plastics like coffee cups, plastic cutlery and foam trays damage the environment. The government is determined to take further action, and is seeking views on how best to use the tax system to encourage the responsible use of plastic.


Some of the money raised from any tax changes will be used to encourage the creation of new, greener products and services. In addition, £20m from existing budgets will be given to businesses and universities to research ways to reduce the impact of plastics on the environment.


Making sure multinational digital businesses pay a fair share of tax

Digital businesses create value in a unique way, relying on the participation and engagement of their users. This is not always reflected in where such multinational businesses pay tax on their profits.


The government has updated its position paper on how the tax system can change to give a fair result for digital businesses. It is also currently analysing the feedback received on its original paper.


Cash in the new economy

The Chancellor announced that the government is seeking views on what more it can do to:

  • support people and businesses who use digital payments
  • ensure that those who need to are able to pay with cash
  • prevent the use of cash to evade tax and launder money.

The consultation closes on 5 June 2018 and is available here.


Taxation of self funded work-related training

The Spring Statement confirmed the government announcement originally made in the Autumn Budget 2017 that it would consult on how it could extend the existing tax relief available for self-funded work-related training by employees and the self-employed. In particular, the government is interested in how any changes could focus on supporting those needing to upskill and retrain, particularly for those who want or need to change career.  The full consultation is available here and closes on 5 June 2018.


Alternative methods of VAT collection – split payment

The Chancellor spoke about the need to consult on a new VAT collection mechanism for online ensure that the VAT consumers pay actually reaches the Treasury.

A consultation (closing 29 June 2018) was released on an alternative method of VAT collection. This will utilise payments industry technology to collect VAT on online sales and transfer it directly to HMRC. The aim would be to significantly reduce the challenge of enforcing online seller compliance and offer a simplification for businesses.


Other consultations published 13 March 2018


VAT registration threshold – call for evidence

The current design of the VAT registration threshold may be dis-incentivising small businesses from growing their business and improving their productivity. This was noted by the Office of Tax Simplification in their review of VAT published last year, who recommended that the government examine the current approach to the VAT threshold.


This call for evidence (closing 5 June 2018) will explore the effect of the current threshold on small businesses, and will then go on to consider different policy options, and ask questions on whether those options could better incentivise growth.


See this VAT registration threshold article elsewhere in In Practice for a more in-depth look at these issues.


Changes to Enterprise Investment Scheme

As part of the Patient Capital Review reforms to promote high-growth and innovative investment the government is consulting on the introduction of a new approved fund structure within the Enterprise Investment Scheme, with the possibility of additional incentives to attract investment.


Such a fund structure would be focused on mainly investing in knowledge-intensive companies. This consultation outlines and seeks views on possible elements and constraints of such a fund structure, while also seeking to better understand the capital requirements of innovative knowledge-intensive companies. The consultation is available here and closes on 11 May 2018.


Entrepreneurs’ relief consultation

A consultation was released on 13 March 2018 (originally announced at the Autumn Budget 2017).  The government will introduce legislation in Finance Bill 2018-19 to allow individuals who no longer hold a 5% interest in a company to claim Entrepreneurs’ Relief, where the reduction in their percentage shareholding is due to that company issuing shares to raise capital for the purposes of its trade. This is designed to ensure that entrepreneurs are not discouraged from seeking external finance for their companies. The full consultation is available here and closes on 15 May 2018.


Tax compliance for online platform users

The government released a consultation (closing 8 June 2018) which will explore how online platforms could work with HMRC and taxpayers to help people who make money through the platforms to understand and meet their tax obligations.


This call for evidence aims to help government learn more about this area, including about the relationships between platforms and their users and the steps some platforms are already taking to help their users understand and meet tax obligations. It also outlines some measures taken by overseas tax authorities and seeks evidence on the impact of those.


Further information

A full list of tax policy consultations and their status can be found here.


The Office for Budget Responsibility economic and fiscal outlook report (March 2018) can be found here.




VAT registration threshold – significant changes ahead

Have your say on proposed changes to the VAT threshold.

Have your say on proposed changes to the VAT threshold.


Practitioners and their clients may wish to consider the VAT threshold call for evidence. It examines the effect of the current VAT threshold on small businesses and attempts to identify whether or not the current threshold provides a disincentive to small businesses to grow or improve their productivity.


The call for evidence is split into three chapters:

  • the first explores in more detail how the threshold might currently affect business growth
  • the second looks in more detail at the burdens created by the VAT regime at the point of registration, and why businesses might manage their turnover to avoid registering
  • the third considers possible policy solutions, based on international and domestic examples.


It is clear that business growth and competition is a key element and covers both those registered and non-registered businesses. There is considerable discussion around ‘financial smoothing’.


Proposed solutions are also considered. This includes the EU SME proposals that consider the following:

  • VAT threshold that member states currently apply only to businesses established in that member state will be extended to small businesses established in other member states
  • the national threshold will be capped at €85,000 (approximately £75,000), so significantly below the current UK threshold of £85,000
  • there will be a EU-wide threshold of €100,000 (approximately £89,000),so that if a business’s total supplies in the EU reach this threshold, they will no longer be able to benefit from any national thresholds
  • small businesses up to a turnover of €2,000,000 (approximately £1,770,000) will benefit from simplification schemes targeted at removing interim payments and increasing the length of the return periods to a year.

The call for evidence is available here and is open until 5 June.



Preparing and filing FRS 105 accounts

A look at the most common errors and misunderstandings.

A look at the most common errors and misunderstandings.


Accounts prepared under FRS 105 are now an accepted and popular option for micro-entities. However, there are a number of important points about their preparation and how the information is filed at Companies House that accountants and directors can easily miss.


This guidance gives a recap on some of the problem areas and how to address them.


1          Accounts for the members



Considerations to remember



The ‘full’ accounts have a different format to the information filed at Companies House

The ‘full’ accounts are for the members and these have to comply with the ‘complete accounts’ format as laid out in FRS 105.  This may be in a different format to the information filed at Companies House due to the option of filleting.

Do I need to prepare both accounts for the members and accounts for filing?

A company cannot save time and merely prepare the filleted information for Companies House without first preparing the ‘full’ accounts

What is a ‘full’ set of accounts?

A complete set of financial statements of a micro-entity shall include the following:

(a) a statement of financial position as at the reporting date with notes included at the foot of the statement; and

(b) an income statement for the reporting period.

In accordance with section 414(3) of the Act, financial statements prepared in accordance with the micro-entity provisions shall on the statement of financial position, in a prominent position above the signature, contain a  statement that the financial statements are prepared in accordance with the micro-entity provisions.


Note therefore that the major difference to the information filed at Companies House is that an income statement is needed in the correct format


Is a Directors report needed?

For accounting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2016, there is no statutory requirement to prepare a Directors report for the ‘full’ accounts or for filing

This FRS permits, but does not require, a micro-entity to include information additional to the micro-entity minimum accounting items in its financial statements

A common misconception is that FRS 105 accounts for the members are restricted to only containing the few statutory notes.  The directors can in fact put in additional information if they want to.  The only stipulation is that if additional information is included then the company needs to refer to any requirement of section 1A Small Entities of FRS 102 that relates to that information.


Accounts preparation software often includes ‘traditional’ notes such as a breakdown of debtors and creditors – are these needed?

As above the accounts can include additional disclosures if required. However, the disclosures actually required by the Companies Act and Small Companies Accounting Registration Regulation (Reg) which should be included at the foot of the balance sheet rather than a note are:

  • Details of any advances, credit and guarantees with directors (s413 CA2006)
  • Particulars of any charge of the assets to secure a liability (Reg Sch 1.57(1))
  • Information about contingent liability not provided for (Reg Sch 1.57(2))
  • The aggregate amount of contracts for capital expenditure not provided (Reg Sch 1.57(3))
  • Pension commitments (Reg Sch 1.57(4))
  • Any other financial commitment (Reg Sch 1.57(5))


The financial statements of a micro-entity that comply with FRS 105 are presumed in law to give a true and fair view of the financial position and profit or loss of the micro-entity in accordance with the micro-entities regime.


So what about going concern issues?


The concept is that, if the laid down format is followed and the statutory notes are included, the accounts automatically give a true and fair view.

However, many members have raised the issue of going concern and how this should be treated. Remember FRS 105 does not include accounting policies. 


The standard answers the going concern issues by stating the following simple treatment:


When preparing financial statements using this FRS, the management of a micro-entity shall make an assessment of whether the going concern basis of accounting is appropriate. The going concern basis of accounting is appropriate unless management either intends to liquidate the micro-entity or to cease trading, or has no realistic alternative but to do so. In assessing whether the going concern basis of accounting is appropriate, management takes into account all available information about the future, which is at least, but is not limited to, 12 months from the date when the financial statements are authorised for issue

FRS 105 does not require the accounts to show the accounting policies used.  Therefore the effects of  changes in accounting policies can be ignored

The FRS does require a specific treatment for prior year adjustments.  Section 8 states the following:

A micro-entity shall account for all other changes in accounting policy retrospectively (see paragraph 8.10).

Retrospective application

8.10 When a change in accounting policy is applied retrospectively in accordance with paragraph 8.9, the micro-entity shall apply the new accounting policy to comparative information for prior periods to the earliest date for which it is practicable, as if the new accounting policy had always been applied.


Note that a similar treatment to the above also applies to correction of fundamental errors




2          Information for filing

The main issue that has been raised with ACCA's Technical Advisory team concerns the completion of the template on Companies House for micro-entities.


The first issue is that the balance sheet is laid out in the required format but also includes certain questions which cause confusion. These relate to whether further analysis is needed. For instance examples are:

  • do you want to provide a fixed assets breakdown?      
  • do you want to provide a current assets breakdown?


Care needs to be taken when giving further analysis as this information will be on public record and would not normally be needed under FRS 105.


The second issue is that at the foot of the balance sheet template there is the following question:

  • do you want to provide any footnotes to the balance sheet?


This question (in contrast to the above) may need completing as it relates to the statutory notes which are required at the foot of the balance sheet (referred to above). If this question is selected the template links to a further page which allows the proper disclosures to be made.


So it is very important that where statutory notes relating to guarantees, commitments etc are needed, these are properly disclosed using the tabs on the template. 


The fact that the template contains links to a mixture of non-mandatory and possibly mandatory notes can cause a lot of confusion and lead to important information being omitted or in fact over-disclosure of other information.


Further information

Please follow the links below for more articles on FRS 105 from ACCA:


FRS 105 – a new reporting regime for micro-companies


The FRSSE is dead – long live FRS 105?

Bottom of Form


GDPR: How to prepare

Read our two-part guidance document and access other resources to help you prepare.

Read our two-part guidance document and access other resources to help you prepare.


The GDPR deadline of 25 May is fast approaching. Interpretation of this vast legislation is still ongoing and its application needs both further guidance from the ICO and a profession-wide consensus.


However, many aspects are now clear enough for practitioners to be able to put plans in place which ensure compliance.


This guidance is in two parts:

  • Part I focuses on some of the common actions that practitioners should be taking (page 1-5)
  • Part II deals with some of the most common GDPR concepts that Part I refers to (page 6-9).


Find further guidance in this document GDPR: How to prepare 


Webinars and courses

ACCA and Haines Watts have produced a number of free webinars on the General Data Protection Regulation – find out more and register here.


ACCA also has a number of courses which will reference GDPR; browse using our CPD Resource Finder


Engagement letters for tax practitioners

As highlighted last month, ACCA, together with other members of the Joint Profession Engagement Letter working party (ACCA, AAT, ATT, CIOT and STEP), is revising our engagement letters for tax practitioners. These will reflect legislative changes such as those to the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). 


The following has been issued by the working party:


‘Members may like to be aware that Engagement letters for tax practitioners are currently being worked on jointly by the professional bodies noted. A number of changes are required to reflect legislative changes such as the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The engagement letters are in final draft and legal counsel has been contacted and asked for an opinion. The working party is aiming to issue updated guidance and template letters in April 2018. Should there be any delay the working party will issue draft letters.’


The revised letters include a Privacy Notice, revised schedules (including those for payroll), revised terms and conditions and guidance. ACCA will highlight to practitioners when these are available.


Employment law – free member support

ACCA’s suite of employment law factsheets was updated in January, with a new factsheet on ‘workers’ added. The factsheets are:

  • the contract of employment
  • the probationary employee
  • working time
  • age discrimination
  • dealing with sickness
  • managing performance
  • disciplinary, dismissal and grievance procedures
  • unlawful discrimination
  • redundancy
  • settlement offers
  • family-friendly rights
  • employment status: workers
  • standard terms computer use policy.


The factsheets are currently being updated to include GDPR requirements and are due to be made available to members in April.


GDPR and payroll bureaus

With GDPR fast approaching, what steps should payroll bureaus take to prepare?

With GDPR fast approaching, what steps should payroll bureaus take to prepare?


Under the Data Protection Act 1998, employers are required to provide employees and job applicants with a privacy notice, setting out certain information. Under the terms of the GDPR coming into effect on 25 May 2018, employers might now need to provide much more detailed information.


Recap on the main GDPR issues for employers

More detailed privacy notices

Under the current law, employers are required to provide employees and job applicants with a privacy notice setting out certain information. Under the GDPR, employers will need to provide more detailed information, such as:

  • how long data will be stored for
  • if data will be transferred to other countries
  • information on the right to make a subject access request
  • information on the right to have personal data deleted or rectified in certain instances.



Employees may have an enhanced right over any use of their data in a professional environment. Employers may need to take steps to ensure that employees have expressly consented to the use of their data. This may be via a separate consent form and not just included in an employment contract. ACCA has updated its employment law factsheets specifically for GDPR and these will be available to members shortly.


Reporting breaches

The employer must have suitable systems in place to notify the regulator (and, potentially any affected data subjects) if a data breach should occur. They must be able to inform their staff on the correct procedure and response when needed.

Generally there is a requirement for companies to issue notifications of data breaches within 72 hours of becoming aware of them.


Access rights

GDPR granted data subjects specific rights in relation to the data shared with controllers and processors. Some of these rights are absolute and have to be complied with, some only apply under certain conditions.


So how should a payroll bureau prepare for GDPR?

This is best answered in a questions and answers format:


Should we re-issue engagement letters?

First and foremost the bureau should update and re-issue its engagement letters to the client. This should be done as soon as possible. 


When agreed with the client, engagement letters define the terms and limitations of the engagement. In particular, the engagement letter will specify the relative responsibilities of the bureau and the employer to make it clear that the employee’s personal data will be provided to the bureau to process the payroll for the business and that the employer still has responsibilities under GDPR.

ACCA has updated its engagement letters/terms and conditions specifically for GDPR and these will be available to members shortly.


What are the divisions of responsibilities between the bureau and the employer?

Responsibilities of employers:

  1. Employers must provide employees and any job applicants with a privacy notice setting out certain details about how their information is managed.;
  2. A clear HR policy to determine the process of retaining PAYE records and setting the duration of record keeping (subject to legal requirements as stated above);
  3. The employers will need to inform their employees that they are sharing their personal information with a third party;
  4. Accountants/ Payroll bureaus do not need to seek consent from individual employees that the payroll is processed for and it should be clarified in their letter of engagement.
  5. All employers must ensure that their payroll bureau or accountant is taking action to protect their employees’ payroll information under GDPR.


ACCA has updated its employment law factsheets specifically for GDPR and these will be available to members shortly.


Responsibilities of accountants/ payroll bureau:

Accountants/ payroll bureaus should keep only the personal data that is strictly required for the purpose of the payroll. This is referred to as data minimisation or privacy by default. They are legally obliged to protect payroll information on behalf of their clients where you must:

  • keep client and employee payroll information safe and secure
  • ensure client’s data is relevant and up-to-date for the purpose of processing the payroll
  • only hold information you need and for as long as you need it to manage the payroll
  • allow clients or their employees to view their personal information that is kept upon request
  • only collect information you need for the specific purpose of completing the payroll on behalf of your clients
  • review all the data they hold and on what grounds the data is held (by category). Following on from this, it will be easier to decide whether it is still appropriate for the data to be held and draft retention polices
  • put new engagement letters in place (see above) in place with all clients including GDPR requirements to set out your internal policies on:
  1. stipulating time for the preservation of records;
  2. procedure followed after the stipulated period for the secure disposal of the data.
  3. the letters will also need to provide a schedule confirming data-processing details with the employer. These will typically include:
  • subject matter of processing
  • duration of the processing
  • nature and purpose of the processing
  • type of personal data
  • categories of data subjects
  • any additional instructions
  • approved international transfers
  • technical and organisational security measures such as encryption.


How long a client’s pay records should be retained?

The storage limitation principle under the GDPR (Art 5(1) (e)) isn’t materially different to the existing principle under the Data Protection Directive. Basically, personal data should not be retained longer than necessary, in relation to the purpose for which such data is processed.


In relation to retention of books, files and working papers ACCA's rule book guidance can be found in ‘Section B6 Retention periods for documents’.


Tax files and other papers that are legally the property of the client or former client shall be returned to the client (or former client) after 7 years or his/her specific authority obtained for their destruction.


Per HMRC guidance, all employers must keep PAYE records for three years from the end of the tax year they relate to. A typical PAYE record would generally include:

  • details of employee’s pay and the deductions;
  • reports and payments made to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC)
  • employee leave and sickness absences
  • tax code notices
  • taxable expenses or benefits
  • payroll giving scheme documents, including the agency contract and employee authorisation forms.


Many employee records contain sensitive information so it’s crucial you ensure they are disposed of correctly, this may include the cross shredding of paper records and the secure disposable of hard drives, which should be destroyed rather than formatted. Specific recommendations on retention of records is contained within the soon to be issued ACCA engagement letters.


Can a former client request that their data is deleted?

This will depend on why the data was held originally. Where the bureau is holding data for taxation purposes then it can’t be deleted if this is before the end of the legal retention period. Remember that personal data should not be retained longer than necessary, in relation to the purpose for which such data is processed

However you should also ensure that you only retain that which you need to meet your contractual, legal or regulatory obligations.


We store client data on the cloud – does this matter

Yes – the bureau will need to ensure that the servers and storage is GDPR compliant. This is part of the compliance issues that the client would need to be aware of (see below).


What does the client need to know about our GDPR compliance

The bureau should be able to demonstrate to its client that they are GDPR compliant and all data is securely protected. As part of the data breach rules the bureau would need to be able to demonstrate that it was GDPR compliant and had procedures to protect all data.


Are there any issues with the client’s employees?

  • payroll bureaus do not need to seek consent from individual employees that the payroll is processed for
  • an  employer will need to inform their employees that they are sharing
  • their personal information with a third party
  • it employers responsibility to ensure that their payroll
  • bureau or accountant is taking action to protect their employees’ payroll information under GDPR
  • an employee cannot withdraw their consent for their personal data to be used as part of the payroll processing
  • bureaus should only keep the personal data that is strictly required for the purpose of the payroll. This is referred to as data minimisation or privacy by default.


Can we still email payslips to employees

Yes – but it is essential that there is strict security over employees passwords and email addresses and that they are up-to-date and are specifically chosen by the employee for this purpose. Encryption of the payslip should also be involved. The ICO has specific guidelines on this issue.


The cost of pension contributions

With various reliefs available, what is the true cost of pension contributions to individuals?

With various reliefs available, what is the true cost of pension contributions to individuals?


An individual under 75 years of age is entitled to tax relief on the contributions they make to a registered pension scheme during a tax year.


An individual is entitled to relief on contributions up to the total amount of their relevant UK earnings chargeable to income tax for the year. However, if the pension scheme operates tax relief at source, contributions of up to £3,600 gross will obtain tax relief even if total relevant UK earnings are less than that amount or even if they are £nil.


Tax relief at source

Most personal pension schemes operate relief at source arrangements, whereby tax relief at the basic rate is deducted from the amount of the contributions payable and the scheme administrator recovers the basic rate tax from HMRC. If the person is a higher rate taxpayer, they claim relief for the excess of the higher rate over the basic rate in their self-assessment tax return. The effect is that their basic rate limit for the year is increased by the gross amount of the contributions.



Mr A is employed and his salary for 2017/18 is £90,000. During the year he paid £16,000 in cheques to his personal pension scheme.


The amounts paid of £16,000 are called the net contributions. The gross equivalent would be £16,000 x 100/80 = £20,000.


The pension scheme administrator will recover £4,000 from HMRC and this amount will be paid into the pension scheme by HMRC.


Mr A will enter £20,000 (the gross contributions) in his self-assessment tax return form SA100 in box for ‘payments to registered pension schemes where basic rate tax relief will be claimed by your pension provider’.


Mr A’s basic rate band (which would normally be £33,500) is extended by £20,000 to £53,500 and he will pay tax on £53,500 of his taxable income at 20%. 


Tax computation                            Pension                                No pension

                                                        contribution                        contribution

                                                        of £20,000 gross

Salary                                              £90,000                                 £90,000

Personal allowance                        £11,500                                  £11,500

Taxable income                               £78,500                                 £78,500

Tax liability

Basic rate      £53,500 @ 20%        £10,700         

Higher rate    £25,000 @ 40%        £10,000

Basic rate      £33,500 @ 20%                                                          £6,700

Higher rate    £45,000 @ 40%                                                        £18,000

Total tax liability                                £20,700                                  £24,700


If a pension contribution of £16,000 net is paid the employee will receive £69,300 (£90,000 less tax of £20,700) less pension paid £16,000 being £53,300 ignoring National Insurance and have a pension pot of £20,000.


With no pension contribution the employee will receive £65,300 (£90,000 less £24,700) ignoring national insurance.


Employer contributions

Employer contributions to an employee's personal pension scheme would normally be paid gross. The employer would normally obtain tax relief in computing taxable profits for the period of account in which the contributions are made. The employee is not liable to income tax in respect of the contributions by their employer to the registered pension scheme. This exemption applies to contributions to the employee’s own registered pension scheme, as opposed to contributions paid to pension schemes set up for members of the employee’s family.


Annual allowance

Every member of a pension scheme may be liable to the Annual Allowance Charge. From 6 April 2014 the annual allowance has been £40,000. For 2013/14 it was £50,000.


A reduced annual allowance of £4,000 applies after 6 April 2015 when an individual has flexibly accessed their money purchase savings.


From 6 April 2016 for ‘high income individuals’ the amount of the annual allowance is tapered down to a minimum of £10,000. Broadly ‘high income individuals’ are those people with an ‘adjusted income over £150,000’. The annual allowance is then reduced by £1 for every £2 by which the ‘adjusted income’ exceeds £150,000 but it cannot be reduced to below £10,000. Therefore if the adjusted income is £210,000 or more the annual allowance for that year will be £10,000.


If the annual allowance is exceeded the individual will not receive tax relief on any contributions that exceed the limit and the individual will incur an annual allowance charge.


Broadly this annual allowance is compared to two figures each year. For ‘defined contribution schemes’ (DC schemes) the amount of contributions paid into the person's DC schemes in the year. For ‘defined benefit schemes’ (DB schemes) and cash balance arrangements the value of the person’s pension rights at the end of the year over the value at the beginning of the year. For this purpose, the value of an individual’s pension rights at a particular time is:

  • For a defined benefits scheme – the aggregate of any lump sum to which the individual would have been entitled (otherwise than by commutation of pension) if he had become entitled to payment of it at that time and 16 times the annual pension that would have been payable if the individual had become entitled to payment of it at that time
  • For cash balance schemes – the amount that would have been available for provision of benefits if the individual had become entitled to the benefits at that time.

Any unused part of the annual allowance for a tax year can be carried forward for up to three tax years. The current year’s annual allowance is deemed to be used first. If this is insufficient to avoid an annual allowance charge, any unused annual allowance from the three previous years can then be used with the earliest year’s unused allowance is used first and so on. This carry forward is automatic and does not need to be claimed.


Calculation of annual allowance charge

The annual increase in an individual’s rights under all registered pension schemes for which he/she is a member is compared with the annual allowance and any excess over the annual allowance is chargeable to tax. This excess is charged at:

  • the basic rate of tax in relation to the amount of the excess when added to the individual’s taxable income, that does not exceed the basic rate limit
  • the higher rate of tax in relation to so much of the excess as, when so added, exceeds the basic rate limit but does not exceed the higher rate limit
  • the additional rate of tax in relation to so much of the excess as, when so added, exceeds the higher rate limit.
Money laundering - flag it up

ACCA supports ‘Flag it Up’ week to highlight the threat of money laundering.

ACCA supports ‘Flag it Up’ week to highlight the threat of money laundering.


ACCA is taking part in a Home Office campaign to highlight the damaging effects of money laundering.


The week-long #PasstheFlag campaign started on Monday and aims to shine a strong light on the potential impact of money laundering and how professional bodies, government agencies, policy makers and the law can work together to help address the threat of money laundering.


ACCA says that accountants must be prepared to act as gatekeepers when it comes to tackling financial crime. Its members need to be aware of the signs to spot possible money laundering, and they also need to be aware of the laws and regulations that set out their role in combating it.


Claire Bennison, head of ACCA UK comments: ‘All too often the issue of money laundering is seen as being remote from everyday life. It’s viewed as something that happens in corrupt regimes or in the more shadowy businesses at the fringes of society. But, in truth, it can be very close to home.  It may be viewed as a victimless crime. But it’s far from that.’


‘The accountancy profession works in the public interest, promoting responsible and ethical business and supporting enhanced global economic performance. The profession also has a legal responsibility to report money laundering activities and a public interest responsibility to support initiatives to tackle it.’


Ian Waters, head of standards at ACCA adds: ‘Ethics and professionalism play a part in tackling financial crime, with members having a duty to follow a Code of Ethics and Conduct. The ACCA Rulebook contains the bye-laws, regulations and Code of Ethics and Conduct, which every ACCA member should follow. This involves acting with integrity, objectivity and professional competence, and demonstrating professional behaviour – complying with relevant laws and regulations. And our ethics and professional skills module keeps members and students attuned to and aware of the issues they may face.’


Claire Bennison concludes ‘We’re proud to be part of this campaign as it shows a co-ordinated approach to the work being done to combat this international crime.’

All change for intangibles fixed assets

Changes in the pipeline for the corporate intangibles fixed assets regime.

Changes in the pipeline for the corporate intangibles fixed assets regime


As announced in the Autumn Budget, HMRC has launched a consultation document on a review of the corporate intangibles fixed assets regime (19 February 2018).



The Intangible Fixed Assets regime (IFA regime) was introduced from 1 April 2002 and this fundamentally changed the way the UK corporation tax system treats intangible fixed assets (such as copyrights, patents and trademarks) and goodwill. 


Prior to the introduction of the IFA regime the tax system did not allow tax relief for amortisation or impairment of IFAs. The 2002 changes provided companies with relief for the cost of acquiring intangible fixed assets and goodwill by allowing a deduction from income for the amortisation and impairment debits recognised in a company’s accounts. It also taxes receipts in respect of IFAs, including disposal proceeds, as income.


There have been some recent changes (see below) in the criteria for tax deductibility and now the government has decided the time is right for a more comprehensive review of the overall regime. This is seen as relevant in light of the growing importance of intellectual property (IP) to the productivity of modern businesses, and the restructuring of IP ownership within multinational groups in response to recent international tax changes.


Recent changes and the effect on small companies

In the Finance Act 2015 the government introduced a new restriction to the IFA regime denying relief for ‘relevant assets’, which include goodwill and those assets that would typically be subsumed within, or closely associated with, the business goodwill:

  • customer information
  • customer relationships
  • unregistered marks or signs
  • a licence in respect of any of these things.


The changes took effect from 8 July 2015 and apply to relevant assets acquired on or after that date. The changes mean that, instead of giving a deduction for expenditure on these relevant assets when the cost is recognised for accounting purposes as amortisation or impairment losses, the IFA regime now only gives a deduction at the time of disposal. Many small companies have taken advantage of the tax deductibility of the amortisation of goodwill which is now not available.


The government made the changes in 2015 as it saw the deductions for amortisation of goodwill as an expensive relief. It also wanted to remove a tax incentive to structure an acquisition of a business as a trade and asset (including goodwill) purchase rather than a share purchase. Again this affected many small companies.


The consultation

The review is asking for comments on a number of issues including the effect on the 2015 changes. The closing date is 11 May 2018.


The full consultation can be found here.


MTD and agent service account

IRIS is the first HMRC-approved supplier for agents, with more to follow.

IRIS is the first HMRC-approved supplier for agents, with more to follow.


IRIS is the first and only agent software to be included on HMRC's list ‘which software packages support the Making Tax Digital pilot if you're an agent’, but others will be added soon.


In April 2017, IRIS announced pre-population within the IRIS Accountancy Suite utilising MTD APIs from HMRC. This was used during HMRC’s MTD beta for quarterly filing and IRIS has now told practitioners that they - and their clients - can participate in the pilot.


To access HMRC agent services, practitioners need to register for a HMRC agent services account. The account provides access to new HMRC online services and use of software to communicate directly with HMRC. Some practitioners will have already used this for trust registration purposes. The person responsible for the tax areas will need their firm’s Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) or Corporation Tax reference and the postcode associated with that reference.


This is what HMRC says regarding adding clients and when to use the account:


Add clients to your agent services account

Once you’ve set up your account you can then add your clients. To do this:

  • add each of your agent Government Gateway IDs to the account - this will include all your existing clients connected with each ID
  • invite additional clients one by one - this will include new clients, and existing clients who’ve not yet signed up to use an HMRC online service


You may need to do both of these, depending on your clients’ choices.


When to use your agent services account

Use your agent services account to access new HMRC online services.

Continue to use your other Government Gateway IDs to:

  • access other HMRC online services (which aren’t covered by the agent services account)
  • use the agent services dashboard (previously known as Agent Online Self Service).
Birmingham-based firm convicted of misleading The Pensions Regulator

The Regulator has brought its first successful prosecution involving false or misleading information.

The Regulator has brought its first successful prosecution for the offence of knowingly or recklessly providing false or misleading information.


A healthcare company and its managing director have pleaded guilty to misleading The Pensions Regulator (TPR) about providing its staff with a workplace pension. Birmingham-based Crest Healthcare and managing director Sheila Aluko admitted recklessly providing false or misleading information to TPR. They also admitted wilfully failing to comply with their automatic enrolment duties.


On 22 March 2016, Sheila Aluko submitted a declaration of compliance to TPR claiming that the employer had complied with its duties. In fact, the employer had not completed the setting up of a pension scheme, had not automatically enrolled any staff and had not written to its staff to tell them about automatic enrolment.


It was only after a whistle-blower raised the alarm – and TPR had executed a search warrant at Crest Healthcare’s offices and interviewed Sheila Aluko under caution – that the pension scheme was set up and the contributions were paid. Crest Healthcare and Sheila Aluko each pleaded guilty to one charge of knowingly or recklessly providing false or misleading information to TPR and two charges of wilfully failing to comply with their automatic enrolment duties when they appeared at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on 7 March.


The case was adjourned for sentencing until 15 May.


Dissolving a small company

Examining the good, bad and ugly issues which affect end of life companies.

Examining the good, bad and ugly issues which affect end of life companies.


There are many reasons why a company is dissolved, ranging from insolvency to simply having come to the end of its useful life.


Whatever the reason, it is essential that the correct advice is given by the company’s advisers and the correct decisions are taken by the directors. Get it wrong and it could mean the directors/shareholders lose money, incur unlimited fines and might need to restore the company.


This guidance gives some pointers to the good, bad and ugly issues which affect end of life companies.



Basically a company is insolvent when it can’t pay its debts. This usually means that it can’t pay its bills when they become due. It is very important that the directors monitor their company’s solvency and as soon as they realise that they are in this position the essential course of action is to seek advice from a qualified insolvency practitioner. A lack of action by the directors could lead to them personally being liable for some debts of the company. This might involve the allegation of ‘wrongful trading’ which refers to a company that continued to carry on their normal business trading when it was unable to pay its debts as they fell due. Directors must understand that ‘hoping for the best’ and carrying on trading is simply not an option.


Tax efficiency

Good tax advice is important where the company is solvent and the directors are looking for the most tax efficient way out. There are a number of issues to look at here:

  • since 2012, where the assets of the company are below £ 25,000 a pre-dissolution distribution can be treated as a capital gain. Entrepreneurs relief (ER) may also be available
  • where the assets are above this figure then the distribution will normally be treated as a dividend with no ER available.  This could make the extraction of the final shareholders’ funds far less tax efficient depending on the shareholders' personal tax situation
  • if a liquidator is appointed on behalf of members or creditors, then the distributions made by the liquidator to the shareholders may still be subject to capital gains tax (and possibly benefit from ER) in the hands of the shareholders. Note that ER (qualifying capital gains) for each individual are subject to a lifetime limit as follows:
    * for disposals on or after 6 April 2008 to 5 April 2010, £1m
    * for disposals on or after 6 April 2010 to 22 June 2010, £2m
    * for disposals on or after 23 June 2010 to 5 April 2011, £5m
    * for disposals on or after 6 April 2011, £10m.

    For detailed guidance on Entrepreneurs Relief, follow this link.


Get the legal procedure right

Many accountants are familiar with the strike off application. This might appear to be very straightforward but it’s important that the full legal procedure is observed. There is also some ‘small print’ on the application which needs to be considered.


The law relating to dissolving a company is found in part 31 of the Companies Act 2006. Some of the issues are very important and sometimes overlooked:


1.        The company may not make an application for voluntary strike off if, at any time in the last three months, it has:

  • traded or otherwise carried on business
  • changed its name
  • engaged in any other activity except one which is necessary for the purpose of:
    • making an application for strike off or deciding whether to do so (for example, seeking professional advice on the application or paying the filing fee for the strike off application)
    • concluding the affairs of the company, such as settling trading or business debts
    • complying with any statutory requirement
    • made a disposal for value of property or rights that, immediately before ceasing to trade or otherwise carry on business, it held for the purpose of disposal for gain in the normal course of trading or otherwise carrying on business

For example, a company in business to sell apples could not continue selling apples during that three month period but it could sell the truck it once used to deliver the apples or the warehouse where they were stored.


2. An application for voluntary striking off can only be made on the company’s behalf by its directors or a majority of them.


3. A company cannot apply to be struck off if it is the subject, or proposed subject, of:

  • any insolvency proceedings such as liquidation, including where a petition has been presented but has not yet been dealt with
  • a section 895 scheme (that is a compromise or arrangement between a company and its creditors or members)


The directors may commit an offence if they breach these restrictions and be liable for a fine on conviction.


4. If you are a director you should not resign before applying for strike off as you must be a director at the time the Registrar receives the application.


5. From the date of dissolution, the company’s bank account will be frozen and any credit balance in the account will pass to the Crown. Any assets of a dissolved company will also belong to the Crown and so clearly forward planning is very important to avoid assets being lost.


 If they are, the only way of reclaiming them is to have the company restored to the register which can be costly and complicated.


6. When the application is made the directors must make sure that, within seven days of sending the application to the Registrar, all interested parties have been sent a copy.  Many companies miss this point and do not comply with the regulations.  In a normal situation the parties would be:

  • members, usually the shareholders
  • creditors, including all existing and likely creditors such as:
    • banks
    • suppliers
    • former employees if the company owes them money
    • landlords or tenants (for example, where a bond is refundable)
    • guarantors
    • personal injury claimants
    • HMRC and Department of Work and Pensions (DWP)
  • employees
  • managers or trustees of any employee pension fund
  • any directors who have not signed the form

The company’s directors must also send a copy of the application to any person who, at any time after the application has been made, becomes a:

  • director
  • member
  • creditor
  • employee
  • manager or trustee of any employee pension fund


Again the directors may commit an offence if they breach these restrictions and be liable for a fine on conviction.


7. The strike off procedures is generally not quick.  If there is no reason to delay, the Registrar will strike the company off the register not less than two months after the date of the notice.


8. If the company changes its mind and no longer wants to be struck off, or if the company becomes ineligible for strike off, the directors must ensure the application is withdrawn immediately by completing the ‘Withdrawal of striking off application by a company’ form DS02


So the directors need to be very mindful of changes to the company once the application has been sent in. Mandatory withdrawal reasons are if the company:

  • trades or otherwise carries on business
  • changes its name
  • for value, disposes of any property or rights except those it needed in order to make or proceed with the application (eg the company may continue with the application if it disposes of a telephone used to deal with enquiries about its application)
  • becomes subject to formal insolvency proceedings or makes a section 900 application (a compromise or arrangement between a company and its creditors)
  • engages in any other activity, unless it was necessary to:
    • make or proceed with a striking off application
    • conclude affairs that are outstanding because of the need to make or proceed with an application (such as paying the costs of running office premises while concluding its affairs before disposing of the office)
    • comply with a statutory requirement


Offences and penalties

Directors need to be aware that the law provides for various penalties when the above (and other) rules are broken. Common offences to remember are:

  • to apply when the company is ineligible for striking-off
  • to provide false or misleading information in, or in support of, an application
  • not to copy the application to all relevant parties within seven days
  • not to withdraw application if the company becomes ineligible.


The penalties for these breaches include potentially unlimited fines.


For more information see:


insolvency advice  

Companies House strike off checklist


Stamp duty – multiple dwellings relief

Can your clients afford to ignore this relief?

Can your clients afford to ignore this relief?


In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, land and property transfers attract Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) over a certain SDLT threshold which is set discretely for residential and non-residential properties. SDLT no longer applies in Scotland. Instead a separate tax is payable called Land and Buildings Transaction Tax .


SDLT on residential properties

Further from 1 April 2016 an additional 3% Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) applied when individuals and companies purchase an additional residential property. The higher rates apply even if the other residential properties are outside of England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

SDLT is a ‘stepped’ tax, meaning it is charged on the portion of the cost of a property that falls into various bands.

Band                          Normal SDLT rates   Additional residential property rates
£0 - £125k                             0%                                                      3%
£125k - £250k                       2%                                                      5%
£250k - £925k                       5%                                                      8%
£925k - £1.5m                       10%                                                    13%
£1.5m plus                            12%                                                    15%


Transactions under £40,000 do not require a tax return to be filed with HMRC and are not subject to the higher rates. HMRC SDLT calculator is built in to take into account the amount of stamp duty payable on additional residential property.


SDLT on non-residential properties

SDLT is payable on increasing portions of the property price (or ‘consideration’) when you pay £150,000 or more for non-residential or mixed-use land or property. You must still send an SDLT return for most transactions under £150,000.


Non-residential property includes commercial properties, agricultural land, forests and six or more residential properties bought in a single transaction.


A ‘mixed use’ property is one that has both residential and non-residential elements, eg a flat connected to a shop.


Band                                                                                      SDLT rates
£0 - £150k                                                                                0%
£150k - £250k                                                                          2%
£250k plus                                                                               5%


SDLT reliefs and exemptions

There are certain Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) reliefs available if you’re buying your first home and in certain other situations. These reliefs help to reduce the amount of tax payable. SDLT return must be completed irrespective of whether tax is payable or not. A full list of reliefs and HMRC guidance is available here.



In additions to SDLT reliefs, there are following exemptions available where buyers do not have to pay SDLT or file a return if:

  • no money or other payment changes hands for a land or property transfer
  • property is left to you in a will
  • property is transferred because of divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership
  • you buy a freehold property for less than £40,000
  • you buy a new or assigned lease of seven years or more, as long as the premium is less than £40,000 and the annual rent is less than £1,000
  • you buy a new or assigned lease of less than seven years, as long as the amount you pay is less than the residential or non-residential SDLT threshold
  • you use alternative property financial arrangements, eg to comply with Sharia law.


Relief on multiple dwellings transaction

Where two or more dwellings are purchased in a single or linked transaction multiple dwellings relief (FA2003/Schedule 6B) can be claimed. This relief allows the buyer to apply SDLT to the mean value of the purchased dwellings, as opposed to paying the SDLT on the actual value of each dwelling.


For the purposes of the relief a ‘dwelling’ means a building or part of a building which is suitable for use as a single dwelling or is in the process of being constructed or adapted for such use. SDLTM29955


Property investors who wish to invest in multiple properties may be able to limit their property tax bill due to the relief available.


Relevant transactions FA03/SCH6B/PARA2

  • a transaction, the main subject-matter of which includes interests in more than one dwelling, or
  • a transaction which is one of a number of linked transactions, the main subject-matter of which includes interests in at least one dwelling and where one or more transactions linked to it includes interests in at least one other dwelling.

In either case, the main subject-matter of the transaction may include interests in land other than dwellings. When this relief is claimed, in order to work out the rate of tax HMRC charges:

  • divide the total amount paid for the properties by the number of dwellings
  • work out the tax due on this figure
  • multiply this amount of tax by the number of dwellings.

The minimum rate of tax under the relief is 1% of the amount paid for the dwellings, so care is required if considering ‘bulk purchases’ which include one or more properties individually worth £125,000 or less. Additionally investors may decide to buy more than one property in a single transaction if value of the one property is comparatively low to the other one to average it out and pay the lower rate of tax on full consideration.



Paul is purchasing three flats at a significant discounted price of £200,000 each and a house of £400,000, totalling £1,000,000.


SDLT of £73,750 would be payable on the full consideration by Paul without claiming Multiple Dwellings Relief. But if Paul claims the relief, he would have to pay only £40,000 (4 x (SDLT on (1,000,000 / 4)) SDLT – thereby saving him £33,750 in SDLT.


SDLT options for transactions involving six or more dwellings

Where six or more dwellings are purchased in a single transaction the purchaser can choose to apply:

  • the non-residential rates of SDLT; or
  • claim multiple  dwellings relief and pay the higher rates.


A company purchases a block of 10 flats for £1,200,000.

  • Applying multiple dwellings relief the SDLT due would be £36,000.
    (Average price of £120,000 x 3% x 10).
  • Applying the non-residential rates the SDLT due would be £49,500
    £150,000 x 0% =      0.00;   plus
    £100,000 x 2% = £2,000.00; plus
    £950,000 x 5%= £47,500.00
  • The purchaser can choose to apply the non-residential rates or make a claim for multiple dwellings relief. 

Filing a return and making a payment

A return must be filed and payment made within 30 days of the effective date of the transaction, as with other types of SDLT purchases.To file a return for the higher rates the main purchaser or agent acting on their behalf will need to complete a SDLT1 return, the same return as required for other types of SDLT purchases. If the transaction is subject to the higher rates then question 1 on the form, on ‘type of property’, needs to be completed as code 04.


To claim Multiple Dwellings Relief, code ‘33’ needs to be entered in the SDLT return; otherwise standard SDLT rates will be applied.


Concerns highlighted by auditors on charity reports

Charity Commission report on auditors' concerns.

Charity Commission report on auditors' concerns.


In its report Accounts monitoring: Concerns highlighted by auditors in their audit reports 2017 the Charity Commission stated that charities receiving a modified audit opinion fall into one of two groups:

  • there was insufficient evidence to support figures in their accounts
  • their accounts did not comply with the SORP.

It was also found that the underlying failings identified fall into one or more of three categories:

  • the trustees had not kept adequate records of the charity’s transactions and/or assets and liabilities
  • the trustees had appointed a new auditor and the auditor had not attended the year end stock count and/or been provided with sufficient evidence to support the previous year’s closing balances
  • the trustees had not obtained the professional valuations of properties, investments and/or pension liabilities required by the SORP.

The Commission also stated that it provided guidance to specific charities where it ‘judged that this would help the trustees to address their auditor’s concerns’. It also stated that it ‘engaged with a further four charities where the auditor’s concerns highlighted serious failings of which we were not previously aware and there was no indication that the trustees were taking action to address them’.


HMRC talking points

Registration open for seven digital meetings hosted by HMRC.

Registration open for seven digital meetings hosted by HMRC.


The latest updates are:

What's new for employers 2018: This meeting will give agents an overview of the employer payroll changes from 2018, including, the change to the Income Tax basic personal allowance and the rates of tax for the new tax year, the thresholds for Class 1 National Insurance, expenses and benefits for employees, fuel benefit charge for company cars, van and fuel benefit, the new rates for Statutory Payments, National Living and National Minimum wage rates and other changes that may affect your clients’ business.

Tu‌esd‌ay 27 M‌ar‌c‌h - 9a‌m to 10a‌m                              Register now

Complaints: We will share our approach to complaints handling and redress and outline the steps we are taking to improve the service we offer. We will also explain what we are doing to learn from the complaints we receive and how we are making our complaints service more accessible using digital solutions.

We‌dn‌esd‌ay 28 M‌ar‌c‌h - midday to 1p‌m                     Register now

Input tax recovery in relation to Option to Tax: This digital meeting will provide a general overview of how an Option to Tax can impact input tax recovery, dispelling some of the myths. We will cover belated notifications and your entitlement to claim input tax.

Thur‌sd‌ay 5 A‌pril - midday to 1p‌m                             Register now

HMRC's Application Programming Interface (API) Strategy: This meeting will provide you with the latest updates on HMRC’s API Strategy.

Fri‌d‌ay 6 A‌pril - 11a‌m to midday                                 Register now

The role of HMRC as a creditor in Voluntary Arrangements: This digital meeting will provide a brief introduction to Voluntary Arrangements, both corporate and individual and HMRC’s policy as a creditor to either support or reject proposals received. It will also cover debts that may be claimed, post insolvency returns, interest and Crown set off.

Thur‌sd‌ay 12 A‌pril - midday to 1p‌m                            Register now


If you have any questions for our subject experts more than 24 hours prior to the meeting, please send them to, including the title of the meeting in the ‘Subject’ line of your email. Any questions that arise after this time should be submitted during the live meeting.


Accountex 2018: free registration

Free registration open for Accountex 2018 in London on 23-24 May.

In such a competitive industry it is essential to keep your finger on the pulse of accounting, including staying up to date with all the latest news, products, services and technology. Accountex will have all of this under one roof at ExCeL, London on 23-24 May. This is the UK’s largest industry-defining exhibition and conference dedicated to the accountancy and finance profession, that covers everything from accountancy, finance, tax, regulations, marketing, and of course technology.


You can build your own agenda at the show, whether it’s attending the 180 CPD accredited seminar sessions in the unrivalled education programme, networking with 7,000+ professionals or seeking new technology providers from over 200 industry-leading exhibitors – meaning that in just two days you could revolutionise the success of your business this year.


This year, Accountex is also giving away a FREE virtual goodie bag when you register, packed with insightful content including e-books from leading names such as Steve Pipe, Rudi Jansen and Amanda Watts.


For more information and to register, visit the event website now and use code ACCA103. Please note that the event is free to attend if you register online in advance, otherwise you will be charged £25 on the door.

Accounting Excellence Talks

How to introduce new technology in your practice.

Accounting Excellence Talks: New tax year, new software

Thursday 19 April, 11am


Keeping up with new technology is one of the greatest concerns for accountants today, but how can you discern which will be the most beneficial for you, and can certain software help you attract and retain clients and staff?


In the next Accounting Excellence Talks online broadcast the panel of award-winning accountants, Alex Falcon FCCA, Mike Hutchinson and Olly Evans will be discussing how they introduced technology into their firms, what their clients had to say and what problems they’ve solved as a result.


Book your free space now

GDPR webinars

Free webinars will help you prepare for GDPR.

ACCA and Haines Watts have produced a number of free webinars on the General Data Protection Regulation which is due to come into force in a few months’ time on 25 May 2018.


An overview webinar was held in October and now a series of eight short webinars looks at key elements from the Regulation and affected business functions. We recommend that you listen to the Key Elements webinars first – in particular, the Key Principles webinar.  


The webinars are presented by Mike Hughes, Steve Connors and Vincent Mulligan. Mike and Steve are partners at Haines Watts, while Vincent is an ACCA member and IT Audit Consultant at Eisteoir Consulting Ltd.


You can pick and choose the topics of greatest relevance to you to watch ‘on demand’ – please register for any of these webinars including the overview webinar from October.

Free technical webinars

ACCA is hosting a series of free webinars for practitioners.

ACCA is hosting a series of free webinars for practitioners in 2018. The following are all available to watch 'on demand' now:


FRS 102 and recent changes

Speaker: Steve Collings, Audit & Technical Partner, Leavitt Walmsley Associates Ltd


Practical implications of incorporating a property portfolio 

Speaker: Dean Wootten, Wootten Consultants Limited


Charitable Incorporated Organisations 

Speaker: Don Bawtree, Business Assurance Partner, BDO


IR35 and employment status – the end of the personal service company 

Speaker: Louise Dunford, LD Consultancy Limited


Reliefs and claims on personal taxes 

Speaker: Paul Soper, tax lecturer and consultant


Please register for individual sessions using the above links – or register for all of the sessions in one go by using this link. Each webinar will count for one unit of verifiable CPD where it is relevant to the work that you do.

Saturday CPD Conferences

High quality CPD with our Saturday conferences.

ACCA's popular Saturday CPD Conferences are filling up fast!


Taking place in seven locations across the UK, these provide a great way for you - or your team - to refresh technical knowledge and complete your 2018 CPD.


Why not take advantage of our multiple booking discount on the Saturday CPD conferences and pay from just £129 per conference when you book three or more?



Saturday CPD conference one

Saturday CPD conference two

Saturday CPD conference three





Accounting and auditing conference

Taxation conference




Guide to practical audit compliance for partners and managers

Practical guide to ISQC 1 for partners and managers




General tax update



Our partnership with 2020 Innovation allows practitioners to benefit from the suite of CPD webinars listed below at a 50% discount.

Visit the dedicated 2020 Innovation/ACCA webpages or email


Accounting Excellence Awards

Is your practice a potential award winner?

Now in its eighth year, the Accounting Excellence Awards continue to recognise the firms and individuals who are making great contributions to the profession.

This year there are 26 awards spread over three categories:



This category looks for those accounting firms who are leading the way with forward-thinking, innovative ways to grow and are pushing the standards of excellence in the profession.



The software category is about celebrating the technology providers who go above and beyond in supporting accounting firms on their path of growth. ACCA firms use a variety of software providers and you are invited to help assess these awards by completing this survey to find the best accounting software providers.



This year, we’ve added a new dimension to our awards programme to include accountants in business. This category will celebrate the vital contribution that finance teams and leaders make to businesses across the UK.


In 2017 ACCA members and their firms were well represented across shortlisted categories. Winning brings recognition for your practice, its staff and the high levels of service you provide your clients.


Crafting a winning entry can take time. Find out more here and start your application now (you can return to complete it before the deadline of 20 April 2018.

Employment law

Download our suite of factsheets now.

Download our suite of factsheets now.


ACCA’s suite of employment law factsheets were updated in January, with a new factsheet on ‘workers’ also added to the suite. The factsheets are:

  • the contract of employment
  • the probationary employee
  • working time
  • age discrimination
  • dealing with sickness
  • managing performance
  • disciplinary, dismissal and grievance procedures
  • unlawful discrimination
  • redundancy
  • settlement offers
  • family-friendly rights
  • employment status: workers
  • standard terms computer use policy.


The factsheets are currently being updated to include GDPR requirements and are due to be made available to members in April.